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Rough Weather (Spenser Mystery) Hardcover – October 21, 2008

141 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Spenser, the redoubtable Boston PI, struts his stuff in this 36th entry in the series, but may leave some readers wondering if his ethics will bear even casual examination. When Heidi Bradshaw hires Spenser to support her at her daughter's wedding on Tashtego Island in Buzzards Bay, Mass., an old nemesis of Spenser's, the Gray Man, who almost killed Spenser in Small Vices (1977), also shows up on the island. Spenser is unable to prevent the kidnapping of the bride or the deaths that attend it. Assisted by a cadre of familiar players, Spenser persists in trying to find the missing bride in spite of warnings from the Gray Man. The trademark banter and snappy dialogue may seem more forced than natural. Spenser displays his machismo in dealing with a muscle builder and his detective skills in figuring out the Gray Man's connections to the case. A troubling conclusion produces one resolution and the promise of further consequences in the next installment. (Oct.)
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'We are witnessing one of the great series in the history of the American detective story' New York Times Book Review. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Spenser Mystery
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (October 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399155198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399155192
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) has long been acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction. His novel featuring the wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye Spenser earned him a devoted following and reams of critical acclaim, typified by R.W.B. Lewis' comment, "We are witnessing one of the great series in the history of the American detective story" (The New York Times Book Review). In June and October of 2005, Parker had national bestsellers with APPALOOSA and SCHOOL DAYS, and continued his winning streak in February of 2006 with his latest Jesse Stone novel, SEA CHANGE.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Parker attended Colby College in Maine, served with the Army in Korea, and then completed a Ph.D. in English at Boston University. He married his wife Joan in 1956; they raised two sons, David and Daniel. Together the Parkers founded Pearl Productions, a Boston-based independent film company named after their short-haired pointer, Pearl, who has also been featured in many of Parker's novels.

Parker began writing his Spenser novels in 1971 while teaching at Boston's Northeastern University. Little did he suspect then that his witty, literate prose and psychological insights would make him keeper-of-the-flame of America's rich tradition of detective fiction. Parker's fictional Spenser inspired the ABC-TV series Spenser: For Hire. In February 2005, CBS-TV broadcast its highly-rated adaptation of the Jesse Stone novel Stone Cold, which featured Tom Selleck in the lead role as Parker's small-town police chief. The second CBS movie, Night Passage, also scored high ratings, and the third, Death in Paradise, aired on April 30, 2006.

Parker was named Grand Master of the 2002 Edgar Awards by the Mystery Writers of America, an honor shared with earlier masters such as Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen.

Parker died on January 19, 2010, at the age of 77.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Rick Shaq Goldstein on November 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a devoted Robert B. Parker fan it is sad to say his Spenser books are becoming a staid cookie-cutter series with almost replaceable by the number scenes. The razor edge that Spenser was famous for is not quite as sharp... and perhaps dulled by his advancing middle age... as more and more literary time is spent with boring predictable time with Susan. Loyal readers know she takes mini-microscopic bites of whatever food she orders... in whatever restaurant they visit. We know that whatever clothes she wears... she is the most beautiful woman Spenser has ever seen... we know that if she says she'll be ready in five minutes... she'll be ready in thirty-five minutes. And even more depressing for readers is the non-stop double entendre sexual conversations between the two of them... that are actually boorishly embarrassing to any adult. (Could you imagine sitting next to them on a cross country flight listening to such sophomoric interaction?)

And then there's Hawk. Just one sentence from Hawk when he enters a scene and there is immediate hope and enthusiasm brewing in the reader's soul. In this installment he doesn't do much more than chauffeur Spenser around.

The storyline starts when Heidi Bradshaw an attractive rich and famous woman who built her wealth by marrying a number of rich men ambles into Spenser's office and hires him to be her male escort and provide a non-defined security at her daughter's wedding, that will be taking place on her private island, Tashtego. Spenser takes Susan along with him and can't even explain to himself... let alone... to Susan... what his security job entails. On the day of the wedding... arch enemy "THE-GRAY-MAN" shows up as a guest... with no explanation or deep *"detecting"* work by Spenser...
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By overeasy . on January 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After 30 years, the Spenser novels may have reached their nadir. This isn't so much a book as it is an exercise in cutting and pasting boring, trivial and pedantic dialogue from earlier Spenser escapades. There is so much wrong with it that it's hard to know to begin....but how 'bout

- Spenser and Susan do not seem to have grown up on wit over all these years. I fully realize the books aren't moving along as swiftly as real time, yet time has indeed passed (as Spenser and Rita discuss, in another adolescent tete-a-tete) so there is some need for not only their relationship to have grown, but for their dialogue to resemble something even close to what real people might say in today's parlance. I still admire Parker's crisp, uncluttered sentences (though he is getting lazy with adverbs....) I just wish that WHAT they were saying didn't sound juvenile.

- Susan (as a character) is as thin as the scraps of food she eats. Does she have friends or interests other than fawning over her big hunk of a detective boyfriend? Not that I know of. At the end of the day (and after all these years) Parker has repeatedly broken the #1 rule of writing; "Show, don't tell." We are bombarded with reasons why Susan is great, thin, beautiful and brilliant, yet we never really see it.....

- This book in particular seems driven not by a writer with a "good yard" to tell, but by a lazy old fart with a deadline to meet and a marketing department which encouraged him to "put a little more violence up front."

- Other's have noted that Parker is now obsessively reusing characters. Personally, I'm fine meeting up with Healey, Belson and Quirk, along with Ty Bop and others in the Spenser ensemble...
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59 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Bob in Florida on November 4, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Since the release of _The Godwulf Manuscript_ back in 1973, I have been fond of RBP's work, but it was _Catskill Eagle_ that turned me into a real Spenser fan. I have read everything Parker has written and I'm sorry to say that _Rough Weather_ will probably be my last.

Ever since the introduction of the Sunny Randall (Spenser in drag)and Jesse Stone series, I've increasingly felt like I was getting less and less "bang" for my buck --- not to mention the fact that the word count kept decreasing as the type size increased. But I kept on shelling out the dough...which also kept increasing.

Beginning several Spenser novels ago, I noticed Parker was not only relying on the same old characters - recycling them over and over again and apparently having decided to abandon the concept of introducing anyone new - but was also "crossing over" more and more (Spenser hooking up with colleagues of Sunny Randall and/or Jesse Stone, and vice versa). He also began to increasingly recycle dialogue (how many times do Spenser and Susan -- and occassionally Hawk --- need to have the same old conversation --- always over a meal ---about "Spenser's code" and what makes him different from Hawk or the Grey Man?

But _Rough Weather_ was the proverbial straw. I would venture to guess that there is not one line of original dialogue in the entire book. If one were to take the time to check, I believe you would probably find that 90% of _Rough Weather_ has already been published in previous RBP novels.
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